Skip to main content

Halo Infinite’s PC version needs a performance boost before launch

Halo Infinite‘s multiplayer is going to be free-to-play, and while that’s a big deal for everyone, it might just matter the most to PC players. We love our free games, and a free Halo game sounds like a perfect new time sink.

But one of the most crucial parts of free-to-play games is the ability to run something on a potato rig. Games live and die by their player bases, and the easiest way to expand a game’s audience on PC is to make it run easily on old hardware, regardless of how bad things can end up looking. Fortnite being able to work on aged computers and laptops at extremely low settings is just one example of how that practice is put into play by developers.

Halo Infinite | Multiplayer Overview

However, Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries needs to put in some work in that regard. Halo Infinite, as it is now, isn’t just a computer-taxing title, it’s terribly unoptimized. I speak from experience, having played the game’s latest multiplayer test and experienced its subpar performance firsthand.

During my time playing Halo Infinite, I ran into two main problems, both of which seemingly stem from optimization issues. The first was the game’s inability to hit and maintain a constant 60 fps anywhere in the game, including its menus. My computer, equipped with 16GB of memory, an RX 5700, and a Ryzen 5 3600 easily runs most modern games (at least at medium settings) at 1080p, 60 fps.

However, Halo Infinite set to medium put my rig to the test. Temperatures ran high, and my framerate never hit 60, staying in the mid-50s. While that’s not a huge issue (50-55 fps isn’t anything to cry over), the game’s second issue made enjoying its moment-to-moment gameplay a difficulty. Much like Resident Evil Village earlier this year, Halo Infinite has an issue with stuttering caused by spikes in frame time.

For those who don’t know what frame time is, here’s a quick explainer. Whereas frames per second refers to how many pictures of your game show up on screen every second, frame time measures how long each picture is on your screen, down to the millisecond. Ideally, frame time will stay solid, ensuring that no single frame stays on your screen for too long, which would cause the stuttering that was common in RE: Village. Instead, Halo Infinite‘s frame time constantly spikes. Without the right testing software, I can’t say how large or frequent the spikes are, but they happened enough to be noticeable in every PvP match I played.

If those issues were happening constantly for me, I can’t help but think of the PC players trying the game out with weaker hardware, which a majority of people using Steam have when compared to my PC. The most common graphics card Steam users have, for instance, is still Nvidia’s GTX 1060. First released in 2016, that card can be found in just over 10% off all Steam user’s computers. It’s also significantly weaker than my middling RX 5700.

I can’t very well render judgment on Halo Infinite‘s PC performance, at least not yet. The version of the game I played was a technical preview, essentially a beta. With just under three months left until Halo Infinite‘s full release, 343 Industries has all the time — and presumably, all the resources — it needs to make Microsoft’s flagship title run well on any machine. And as a free-to-play game, it pretty much has to if it wants to succeed.

Editors' Recommendations

Otto Kratky
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Otto Kratky is a freelance writer with many homes. You can find his work at Digital Trends, GameSpot, and Gamepur. If he's…
Halo Infinite’s co-op test didn’t launch yesterday, but it’s still coming soon
A team of Spartans gear up for battle in Halo Infinite.

Halo Infinite's co-op insider flight build didn't launch on July 11 as some players anticipated, but the test is still on track to launch soon. According to 343 Industries Community Director Brian Jarrard, the team is still looking to launch the test this week, though it could come a bit later than planned

https://twitter.com/ske7ch/status/1546533711818006528

Read more
Xbox performance indicator tells you if your PC is good enough to run games
The Master Chief with an assault rifle.

Worried about how your favorite Xbox game would fare on your PC? Microsoft has put your mind at ease by rolling out a new game performance indicator on the Xbox app on Windows.

Dubbed the Game Performance Fit Indicator, the new feature was released in the latest update on Thursday, giving you an idea of how certain Xbox games perform on your computer compared to other ones with similar specs before you download them. For example, if you want to play Sea of Thieves but want to know if it's suitable for your computer, you'll see a label that reads "Plays well on similar PCs," which predicts that the game will run perfectly on your computer as well. Other games may give you a different label that indicates otherwise because some features call for different spec requirements.

Read more
Halo Infinite’s long-term woes should come as no surprise
Halo Infinite Last Man Standing promo.

Halo Infinite’s first six months haven't gone as planned. When the multiplayer game launched in December 2021, it seemed destined for success thanks to glowing critical praise and immediate fan excitement spurred on by a surprise early beta release. Though the game was missing key features like co-op play and Forge mode, it seemed that 343 Industries had a firm plan for getting them out, alleviating concerns.

The honeymoon period didn’t last long. With each passing week, gripes began mounting. Fans criticized everything from the game’s slow progression to its overpriced cosmetics to its lack of playlists. Soon enough, 343 was forced to shift its priorities, kicking key features down the line. The public sentiment around the game isn’t quite as enthusiastic as it was in December, and the game’s woes are only continuing in season 2.

Read more